When a restauranteur forwards pictures of delectable dishes (thousands of them) to their architect, it sends a clear message: keep the focus on the food. With a colorful interior fashioned from upcycled materials organized around the shape and textures of plates, Kacper Gronkiewicz clearly understood the assignment for their client’s new Italian restaurant in Warsaw.
The building’s previous tenant, a French brasserie, was decked out in intricate woodwork, moldings, and a brash patterned floor. Instead of dumping the decor, Kacper Gronkiewicz reworked the materials into Le Braci’s new fixtures and furnishings. They dismantled the old bar to reuse as cladding in the adjacent dining rooms and refashioned the brasserie’s tin trim for the bar top. That surface is supported by pleasantly clashing terrazzo rendered in plump half-circles outlined by recessed LED lighting at night. The team used Biel Studio terrazzo—made from porcelain manufactured in Ćmielów, Poland—on the bar, as well as on the walls and windowsills. For lighting throughout the bar and dining room, the architects added round plates to the backs of existing lamps in the same terrazzo. Corresponding custom circular wall sconces contribute the plate motif.
While these upcycled finishes range from subtle to bold, an entryway sculpture made from 600 discarded saucers is Le Braci’s uncontested show-stopper. The architects stacked the broken dishware three meters (ten feet) high, a precarious ceramic stratification that would collapse if the pieces were not embedded into the wall along three green epoxy resin panels.
Thanks to moss green walls and trim, as well as the recycled vinyl boiseries behind the banquettes, the interior resembles a happy meeting between Afra and Tobia Scarpa and Palm Springs modernism in a pine forest. Kacper Gronkiewicz opted to use just hue throughout the space to both highlight the abundant terrazzo details and underscore the sustainable nature of the design.